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Besides Money, What Motivates People to Work?

written by: Sarah Lambert•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 3/13/2011

Money is one of the main reasons that people get out of bed in the morning and go to work. But there are many other factors that motivate people to work. This article looks at those factors.

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    Introduction

    Workforce The majority of people will have to work for most of their lives in order to take care of themselves and their families. They go to work for an obvious reason: They need money. They need it to buy groceries, pay bills and take vacations. This brings about a common question: "Besides money, what motivates people to work?"
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    Feeling Appreciated

    When an employee is doing a good job and trying their hardest, he or she likes to know that management is not taking this for granted. He likes to feel appreciated for the work that he is doing. This could mean a bonus at the end of the year, or it could be something as simple as the manager saying "thank you".
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    Keeping Work Interesting

    Employees are generally more likely to be motivated to work if they find their work interesting. The easiest way for management to keep employees interested is to assign them a variety of tasks. Doing the same task over and over gets extremely tedious after a while. By having a variety of functions to perform, an employee is much less likely to lose motivation.
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    Working with Others

    When employees like the people they work with, they are more likely to be motivated to work. A workplace study found that women place more importance on their working relationships than men do. The study showed that 60% of women and 44% of men felt that their working relationships influenced their motivation to work.
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    Positive Work Environment

    Working at a company that has a positive work environment is very important to many employees. Some of the things that can effect the environment include: office size, management's attitudes toward their employees, parking spaces, noise level and air quality. For example, if an employee's office is cramped and dirty, and it is located near a noisy production line, she is not likely to be motivated by this type of atmosphere.
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    Helping Others

    Many employees feel that being able to help others is one of the factors that motivates them to work. As in every aspect of life, the majority of people feel that helping others makes them feel better about themselves. This goes for the work environment as well. By being able to help customers, patients or other coworkers, an employee feels that the work he is doing is worthwhile and is thus more motivated to work.
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    Empowerment

    When employees are involved in important decision-making processes they are more likely to feel empowered. Empowerment in the workplace allows employees to make decisions about various aspects of their job. It also involves being provided with the training and information required to make informed decisions. This gives the employee more responsibility and provides her with a greater sense of achievement.
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    What Motivates People to Work?

    What motivates employees varies between each individual. One person may feel that it is very important to like the people that he works with, while someone else may think that it is more important to feel appreciated and take pride in his work. These are just some of the factors that motivate employees to work. Each person is different, but if managers takes these factors into consideration they are likely going to have a much more motivated workforce.